Thursday Jan 28, 2021  
  26/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 15
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Pre-season training at Auronzo di Cadore has reached its penultimate day. Two sessions are scheduled for today, but there are a whole host of players who are unable to participate in anything vigorous so Pioli is limited with what he can do, especially as the morning session is shorter than usual as the team pose for a group photo by St. Catherine's lake. The only player who cannot take part in the session in any capacity is Filip Djordjevic whose knee injury will keep him out for a week.

Pioli opts to spend some of the hour-long morning session in the gym and some of the morning on the field working on a particular ball possession exercise. It is 2 v 2 and the players are tasked with keeping the ball with each player limited to two touches before distributing it to their teammate.

The evening session begins at 5pm, when the goalkeeping coach Adalberto Grigioni begins work with our goalkeepers although Berisha does not take part despite having an encouraging morning session.

At about 5.30, Pioli begins to work on the 4-3-3 system with Saturday's friendlies against Asiago and Perugia in mind. He divides the group into the following teams:

Marchetti; Basta, Novaretti, Cana, Radu; Cataldi, Ledesma, Braafheid; Felipe Anderson, Mauri, Keita

Strakosha; Konko, Ciani, Filippini, Vinicius; Minala, Elez, Antic; Pereirinha, Tounkara, Oikonomidis

Once again, one team looks like Pioli's best eleven and the other looks like the second string. It is interesting that Braafheid and Novaretti appear to have gone up in Pioli's estimation in recent days, although the Dutch defender is admittedly only getting the nod over players who are not expected to be considered for the first team this season.

Pioli begins work on offensive plays before moving on to set-pieces. Berisha now takes to the field to begin working with Grigioni. Pioli seems relatively happy with the defensive organisation, although he does put Felipe Anderson right on one occasion.

Pioli then asks the team to work on attacking corners with Braafheid taking each corner from the left. After a few attempts, it is clear that the play is not going anywhere and Mauri asks Pioli to try Ledesma as the corner-taker. Ledesma's deliveries are better and progress is made.

The atmosphere is nice and relaxed as the session draws to a close. Pioli's assistant Giacomo Murelli decides he is going to spend the last few minutes single-handedly preventing Cana, Novaretti, Radu, Mauri and Keita from scoring from a corner delivery and Marchetti gets a real kick out of the assitant's boasts.
Author: C
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